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The Uncomfortable Truth About Speeding Up Your WordPress Site

Okay, so just like I said in the email, take a look at any of our theme demos – for Zerif Pro or Parallax One – you’ll see that they perform rather well, even despite being emulated on the fly.

The trick is simple, we invest money to achieve this result.

Here’s what you can do to get similar results, or even better ones (hey, we too could still improve things):

4. Use ShortPixel for image optimization.

On most sites, images account for the majority of bandwidth consumption.

Just look at this quick example; the small image you’re seeing here is 35KB:

However, the whole text content of the message you’re reading now – the whole thing, from top to bottom – is only around 6KB.

If you want to optimize, images are your quick win.

Now, why ShortPixel?

It’s simple, they improve your website’s performance by reducing the disk sizes of the images you have on the site, and without losing any of the visible quality of those images.

For $9.99 / mo you can process up to 12,000 images per month.

3. Hook up your site to MaxCDN.

CDN stands for Content Delivery Network – a network of servers that deliver your website to the visitor from the nearest geographic location possible.

The data has less distance to travel, therefore it can get to your visitor quicker. Simple.

Now, the free CDN services (like the native one for images, provided by WordPress.com) will only take you so far. Again, everyone’s using them, so it’s not like you gain anything just by joining the bandwagon.

That’s where MaxCDN comes into play. They are the leader on the CDN market not without a reason. The service is not free, but it’s well worth your money. They offer a range of features and performance improvements that you simply won’t find with the free alternatives.

Their Starter Plans go for $9 / mo. For that, you get 100GB of bandwidth / mo. This plan should be good enough to get you going.

2. Go for a premium caching tool like WP Rocket.

WP Rocket delivers really impressive performance improvements compared to the free solutions like W3 Total Cache, or Super Cache (WordPress plugins).

The setup is easier, there’s cache pre-loading, compression, and many more features that you don’t get from the competition. Why? Again, that’s simple, WP Rocket is a paid solution, so they can actively invest in their infrastructure and deliver an overall better service.

If you’re running one site, that’s $39 / mo.

1. Do yourself a favor … use a good web host.

We’ve been talking quite a lot about the importance of a good web host in the recent months.

This topic really can’t be stressed enough. A good web host can mean the difference between a successful website and a failed one.

I won’t get into the whole story here, but we’ve been testing various hosting options on the blog, looking for the company offering the best performance (the whole case study).

The best overall hosting plan according to those experiments comes from SiteGround. They deliver the best average loading times and the best minimum and maximum response times (as analyzed with LoadImpact and Pingdom).

What plan to choose specifically? You can get started with the cheapest $3.95 / mo. But going one step up is a better idea – $7.95 / mo. It gives you 20GB of disk space, the ability to run multiple websites, and it can handle up to 25,000 visitors a month.

One final thought. All tools/solutions featured here have their free alternatives (except hosting). However, like with most things, you get what you pay for.

In other words, the tools we’re recommending have their price tags for a reason … they do their jobs well.

That’s the uncomfortable truth about speeding up your WordPress … you need to invest in order to get a true top-performing and fast website.

Here are the recommended solutions again:

  • ShortPixel – use it to optimize your images.
  • MaxCDN – use it to deliver your website to your visitors quicker.
  • WP Rocket – use it to make your website faster through caching.
  • SiteGround – use it to let your website run on a WordPress-optimized and fast server.
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